Cross-country skiing is popular all over the Verbano Cusio Ossola province, but the tracks with the most varied terrain are those of the Formazza Valley, where the circuits are practicable from November to April thanks to the abundant snowfalls the area receives every year.
There are two centres for cross-country enthusiasts – San Michele and Riale di Formazza. San Michele offers a total of five circuits: an easy one of 3 km (altitude difference 106 metres), and the others of medium difficulty: one of 5 km and altitude difference of 150.5 m, one of 7.5 km and altitude difference of 226.5, one of 8 km and altitude difference of 233.5 m, and one of 14.5 km and altitude difference of 275.5 m.
The other centre is Riale, a tiny Walser village at an altitude of 1,725 m, a short distance above the marvellous Toce Falls. It has two circuits together totalling 12 km: one is suitable for beginners, while the other (of medium difficulty and with an altitude difference of 309 m) stretches for over 7 km and has always used by the main European national teams to train for top competitions.
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